1

I'd like to buy it in Switzerland because it's about 200 euros cheaper.

Is there a way to avoid paying extra at the border?

  • 2
    No time for a documented answer, but yes, you will have to pay 20% VAT (but no duty) since its value is above EUR 300 and Switzerland is not an EU country. Avoiding this is of course illegal. A way to not have to pay VAT is to purchase it in an EU country. – fkraiem Apr 19 '17 at 15:24
  • As far as smuggling is concerned, binning the box isn't actually necessary nor all that helpful. If you travel by road, chances are you won't be stopped or questioned, if you meet any customs agent at all. But if you are, the lack of packaging won't get you off just like that: You also need to lie. And unless you ordered it in advance, it will be trivial to notice that your laptop was bought in Switzerland as the country uses a unique keyboard. – Relaxed Apr 19 '17 at 15:43
  • 1
    To be honest, the chance you'd be cached would be extremely slim. – Bregalad Apr 20 '17 at 12:51
  • If you driving very slim chance you'll be caught little/no custom checks – BritishSam Apr 20 '17 at 13:39
5

No, there isn't, apart from smuggling. Proving it's for personal use does not completely exempt you from VAT (or duty, but VAT is the biggie in this case), it only allows you to benefit from the €300/430 allowance (otherwise, you are in principle taxed from the first euro).

Also: It's not a coincidence. Taking the cheapest MacBook as an example, the price in Switzerland is CHF 1399, minus 8% VAT, that's CHF 1295 or EUR 1210. The same model cost EUR 1449 in France, minus 20% VAT, that's EUR 1207. It's been that way for years, even as the CHF moved relative to the EUR.

Listed price is exactly the same in Germany, the Netherlands, which all have a VAT rate around 20% (±1) but you can save about €50 by buying in Luxembourg where VAT is 17% (it's in the EU and eurozone so paying and taking your laptop with you is hassle-free and completely legal).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.